Keep Wester Hailes Education Centre Open
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Recently the council have unveiled plans to change catchment areas for both primary and secondary schools and to demolish two secondary schools (Wester Hailes Education Centre and Currie Community High School) and build a new school in their place. Their reasoning is that both schools need refurbishing and that it will be cheaper to build a new school. Whilst it is true that both need repairs that means the council should temporarily cut funding from other aspects of their work not that both schools should be abandoned (and most likely sold to housing developers). WHEC has been the central point of the wester Hailes community for almost 40 years and if these proposals became a reality it will completely disturb the locals as many families use WHEC for more than a school. Adult classes and recreational uses of the gym and swimming pool would also be put in jeopardy.The proposed new locations have more issues that arise as pupils would now need to travel by bus or car instead of walking building a reliance on non eco friendly methods, unless they were to use a bike on a busy artery road during the morning rush hour. Pupils would also need to leave far earlier to get to school on time. There are no shops or amenities around the proposed sites, which means kids who don’t get school lunches or take a pack lunch may go hungry. WHEC is currently surrounded by multiple local shops and bakeries where kids can choose to go. WHEC is currently going through a massive renovation to maintain high building standards and an environment that is both safe and inviting to learn. It would be a shame to see this money wasted as almost all teaching blocks have already had these works. If the council are intent on building a new school then it should be on the site where the school playing fields currently are. Many schools have moved to new buildings without the need of a merger. This would mean that the majority of pupils going to the new high school could transition smoothly without much disruption and that both Currie and WHEC pupils would be able to attend a school still local to them and Balerno High would no longer need an extension.
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